Curaçao is probably the most popular licensing authority for online casinos aside from famous jurisdictions like Malta and the UK. Because the island has been offering licenses since 1996, there are many casinos that are registered on Curaçao and do business from the Dutch Antilles island, which belongs to the government of the Netherlands. For casino operators, Curaçao offers many advantages. Applying for a license is particularly quick and relatively inexpensive compared to others. But what about the players at the casinos licensed by Curaçao? How reliable is a permit from Curaçao? Below you can find out everything about the various conditions and components and thus assess the reliability of the license for yourself.
Applying for a permit in Curaçao is slightly different from most other jurisdictions. Instead of a gambling license, you have to apply for a so-called IP license for eGaming in Curaçao. IP stands for Information Provider. Within the scope of this license, you can also offer online games of chance.
One can apply in different ways for this license. The most notable is through the Curaçao eGaming website, which is very similar to an official government website, but apparently not official at all. In fact, since March 2020, the national regulator of online gaming and all other gaming sectors in Curaçao has been the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. Some sources say that Curaçao eGaming is an official CGCB licensing company, but there is no reference to this on the website. The main competitor, Gaming Curaçao, also speaks against this.
Both websites offer the official IP license and declare strict requirements for applicants to be eligible for such a license. Curaçao eGaming has also developed a seal of approval that can be used to identify the reputable casinos while the bad apples are filtered out.
The application for a license itself takes place in clear steps and takes about two to four weeks. According to the website of Curaçao eGaming, there is strict monitoring that an online casino meets all requirements. The costs of the license can vary but the application fee is usually around $40,000 on average.
The official government agency CGCB has a website where the national gambling regulations can be found. In its essence, these third-party companies get the license from the regulator and then offer B2B licensing to casino operators. According to Curaçao eGaming, their core tasks are consultation, online gambling licenses, and monitoring.
Together with the licenses, Curaçao eGaming also offers various business solutions for online casinos. This includes, for example, B2B accreditations, brand updates, and self-exclusion tools.
Not that long ago, Curaçao eGaming didn't offer that much information regarding its licensing standards. That was the main reason why its license wasn't really reputable. However, things have changed recently as the company seems much more dedicated to keeping users informed and protected.
Customers can now file a complaint directly from the Curaçao eGaming website in case they have a dispute with any of the operators holding this license. Users can also easily find various policies and rules that operators must meet if they want to obtain this iGaming approval. For example, you can find the General Standards and Policies as well as the Monitoring, Testing and the Exchange of Information regulations right on the Curaçao eGaming website.
There are tools for responsible gaming. There's an entire section dedicated to responsible gambling and operators' responsibilities when it comes to this important topic. Moreover, there is also an intermediary self-exclusion service offered by the company that enables consumers to self-exclude for a minimum of six months. And there's been an overall improvement in transparency and dedication when it comes to Curaçao eGaming and its operations as a regulator. So, we have to give some praise and recognition to the company for those improvements.
Any gambling site that holds a Curaçao eGaming license must have the interactive seal of approval in its footer. The seal is actually the regulator's black and blue logo. Clicking on it takes users to a separate page where the license status is shown.
The validator page will inform the reader of the company that holds the license, alongside its address, email, date of generation, and registered websites. Moreover, there's a large green field (if the license is valid that is), where the status is announced with capital letters. If the license is valid, you will see the word "LICENSED," for example. Below, there is various important information, including the complaints and self-exclusion forms.
When it comes to a public registry with license holders, it seems that there is no such thing at the moment. Curaçao eGaming used to have a blacklist, but we couldn't find it last time we were looking for it. On the website, there's a section called "Industry Notifications" under the News & Events tab. Here, you'll find the newest licensees, for example. But, there wasn't a full list of license holders or blacklisted brands.
There was another section regarding the authenticity of licensees. When we opened it, it said "Coming soon." So, it's safe to guess that the regulator will probably offer something like a full registry in the near future.
If you have an issue with a Curaçao eGaming online casino operator, the regulator advises users to first try and resolve the dispute with the operator. In case no resolution is found, the regulator suggests escalating the issue to Curaçao eGaming. There are two ways to file a complaint with this licensing body. Let's go over them both below.
First, you can file a complaint directly through the validator page of an online casino. When you click on the seal of approval found on the operator's page, it will validate the license but also let you file a complaint or self-exclude. To file a complaint simply fill out the form at the bottom of the validator page. You'll need to enter your name, email, player ID, and the casino you have an issue with. You'll also need to add a message, enter the disputed amount (if any), and select the currency. During this step, there's no need to attach anything, but the regulator may require some proof of the issue later on.
The second option is to file a complaint through the Curaçao eGaming website. You can go directly to the page dedicated to filing Curaçao eGaming complaints and then click on the "Continue" button. This will lead you to pretty much the same form we already explained above. Fill out all the necessary details and wait for the regulator to get back to you.
There's no information about how long one should wait to get a response. But we believe that the regulator responds within a reasonable period of time as it lately seems dedicated to protecting players as much as possible.